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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

LAFD Arson Arrest Of 78-year-old Nick Pecarich, of San Pedro, For San Pedro Elks Lodge Fire

The San Pedro Elks Lodge suffered a devastating fire Tuesday morning. (photo: Chris Villanueva)
LOS ANGELES – Investigators from the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Arson-

Counter-Terrorism Section, in coordination with detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Criminal Conspiracy Section, and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, announced the arrest of 78-year-old Nick Pecarich, of San Pedro, in connection to the April 15 Greater Alarm structure fire at the San Pedro Elks Lodge.

Pecarich was arrested without incident early Tuesday afternoon and was booked at the LAPD Metropolitan Detention Center for violation of Penal Code Section 451(c), Arson of a structure. He is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail. The case will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s office for filing of formal criminal charges.

As LAFD arson investigators and their law enforcement counterparts are continuing the investigation into this crime, no further details will be released at this time.

Pursuant to a request from the District Attorney’s office to preserve the integrity of the ongoing investigation, a booking photo will not be released at this time.

The LAFD wishes to thank the local community for its cooperation and assistance following this fire and during the course of the investigation. Community involvement often plays a key role in the aftermath of significant incidents, and this investigation benefited from that involvement.

The LAFD considers arson a serious crime. We will work diligently in all cases of arson to thoroughly investigate, arrest and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Submitted by Katherine Main, Spokesperson Los Angeles Fire Department 
The lodge, located at 1748 Cumbre Dr. in San Pedro, suffered massive damage to the main dining hall, the legendary bar area and other rooms in the multilevel structure. Firefighters were able to save the ritual hall and some of its priceless heirlooms inside.
More than 100 firefighters were called to the scene to put out the fire, which started at approximately 3 a.m.


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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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